Best Resources For Teaching Your Child A Second Language

As you all know, my wife and I recently welcomed our son into the world (first child!) and I’m already talking with other polyglot parents to gain more insight into strategies for raising young kids to be bilingual.

Today Shannon Kennedy who blogs over at Eurolinguiste is sharing some of what she’s been doing and resources she’s using with her little guy (aka Little Linguist). Over to you, Shannon. 🙂

I had just turned down the lights in the room and placed my then 6-month-old in his crib. He was restless, fighting bedtime with an energy only a little one can muster. He sat up in his crib and laughed as I continued to prepare the room for the night before returning to the side of his crib. Seeing that he intended to stretch his waking hours to the limit, I decided to indulge him.

He stared at me, and then, in that uncoordinated, adorable way only babies can manage he clapped his hands together. Beaming, I grabbed my camera and requested the performance a few more times to capture the moment. It was the first time he responded to that particular request and I was as proud as any mamma could be.

This past year, much like Donovan, I welcomed my son into the world and we too decided to raise our sweet boy to speak more than one language.

We’re less than a year in and the journey it is a continual a whirlwind of excitement, exhaustion, overwhelm, euphoria and self-doubt. Especially since one of those languages is not the native language of either my husband or me. But every moment is well worth it.

In this post, I want to share some of the tools and methods we’re using to support Little Linguist’s language development.

It’s not one-size fits all approach – every family and situation is a little different – but I wanted to open up a discussion about what works for us in the hopes that it may help you if you’re interested in heading down a similar path.

Our Story
Before Little Linguist joined us, my husband and I spoke both French and English at home. But since the addition to our little family, the number of languages we speak has also expanded. We knew early on that Little Linguist would learn to speak both French and English. He would need them to be able to communicate with family. But we wanted to give him every advantage possible, so we agreed that I would speak to him in Mandarin Chinese as well. It was a tough decision. We’ve heard every argument against it you can imagine. Ultimately, the decision is ours to make (and once he’s old enough, Little Linguist’s), so we do the best we can for him to help him in every way. Including giving him the advantage of being multilingual and multicultural.

Our approach to teaching our child foreign languages
We currently are using the One Person, One Language (OPOL) approach, but we may blend it with other methods as needed in the future. I speak with Little Linguist in Chinese while my husband and his family speak to him in French. We aren’t focusing on English at the moment, because we know he’ll learn it later on at school. But he still gets exposure to the language whenever we venture outside the home and when he spends time with my family. It’s a little overwhelming being his sole source for Chinese, particularly because it’s not my native language.

I’ve used the opportunity, however, to not only focus on my Chinese learning but to become more specialized in my knowledge. No easy feat considering the fact that it’s hard to learn child-related vocabulary without the help of a tutor!

Queen Elizabeth hates eating Garlic

We already know Queen Elizabeth II enjoys a daily cocktail or twoand stays away from potatoes and pasta, but there’s another ingredient she despises so much that it’s not even allowed in the Buckingham Palace kitchen: garlic.

Former royal chef Darren McGrady dishes to RecipesPlus: “We can never serve anything with garlic or too much onions,” McGrady says. “We also couldn’t serve meat that was rare, as she liked her meat more well done.”

John Higgins, another former chef who cooked for the Queen, shared similar thoughts with National Post, saying, “The Queen is a wonderful lady, the royal family are wonderful people but they’re missing out on garlic because at Buckingham Palace you don’t cook with garlic. I suppose, in case you get the royal burp.”

So what does the Queen enjoy eating? McGrady says the Queen likes to eat what’s in season. “You can send strawberries every day to The Queen during summer at Balmoral and she’ll never say a word,” he shares. “Try including strawberries on the menu in January and she’ll scrub out the line and say don’t dare send me genetically modified strawberries. She absolutely does eat seasonal.”

What dietitians are eating this summer

Summer is here, and I can already hear the ice cream truck rolling down the street. With treats like ice cream sandwiches, grilled hot dogs, and frozen margaritas calling our names, it can feel impossible to eat healthy. I’m always on the lookout for ways to indulge in seasonal treats without overdoing it. That’s why I asked some of the leading dietitians and health experts what they’re eating this summer to stay satisfied and fit.

Jicama slices

Summer is all about easy, no-bake dishes, so fresh fruits and vegetables are high on the list. “Although not a seasonal summer food, I love munching on jicama slices on hot days,” Meg Hagar, an author, registered dietitian, and the founder of No Diet Nutrition, told me.

“It’s cool, watery, and crisp to bite into, and a great source of fiber and micronutrients such as folate and vitamin C! It’s also low in sugar and fat.” Try dipping the slices in salsa or enjoying them on their own.

Frozen grapes

If you’re an ice cream junkie like me, try keeping some grapes in your freezer at all times. They’re the perfect sweet and frozen snack to satisfy your sweet tooth.

“If jicama is not available, another one of my favorite summer treats is frozen grapes,” shared Hagar. “Packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, frozen grapes are a cooling snack to munch on during hot summer days!”

Fresh berries

It wouldn’t be summer without a big bowl of fresh berries in the refrigerator. “Berries are among the highest fiber fruits, and many Americans struggle to get enough fiber in their diets. They’re also packed with antioxidants and boast a high water content, which can help you feel refreshed on hot, humid days,” Dietitian Cara Harbstreet of Street Smart Nutrition told me.

“Try adding a few extra berries to your morning smoothie, layer into a yogurt parfait, or freeze for a simple addition to infused water. You can also get creative with berries by muddling them with fresh herbs for cocktails or mocktails or adding to a compote or marinade for grilled meats.”

Stock up at your local farmers market and start getting creative.

Smarter cocktails

You don’t only have to stick to fruit all summer. Even dietitians want to indulge sometimes! “There is nothing like a frosty margarita or ice cold beer on a hot day, but the fastest way to too many calories is through sugar-laden alcoholic drinks,” Jennifer Gibson, the head of Nutrition and Coaching at Vida Health, told me.

“Skip the sweet drinks such as margaritas, blended beverages, or mojitos, and go for a drink mixed with soda water instead. Save your beverages for optimal times, adding limits on your drinking hours, and avoid starting early in the day.”

If you do indulge in a little day drinking, we won’t judge you. Just be sure to drink plenty of water as well.

Chickpea salad

A great way to take advantage of warm summer days is to prepare meals and snacks over the weekend. This way you’ll be able to grab your healthy dishes and go.

“The last thing I want to do on hot summer days is cook, so my go-to summer dish is an easy chickpea salad,” Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and the owner of Cultivate Healthy, Andrea Goergen, told me. “Just mix a can of chickpeas with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions, squeeze some lemon juice on top or use a little balsamic vinaigrette, and that’s it!”

Not only is this salad delicious and easy, it’s loaded with nutrients for your bikini bod. “This crisp, fresh salad is low in fat and calories, and loaded with protein, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium,” explained Goergen. “Add avocado for a creamier version that boosts the vitamin C and fiber with a delicious dose of healthy fat.

Everything We Know About The Avatar Sequels So Far

know the haters are louder, but you don’t get to be the biggest moneymaker in the history of film without having a whole lot of fans. You can definitely count me among them, too, as I thought seeing James Cameron’s original Avatar in stunning, stereoscopic, motion-capture-heavy 3D was easily one of the most exciting theater-going experiences I’ve ever had. If you saw it as such, tell me you weren’t fully transported to a magical-yet-realistic alien world for the entirety of the film.

So yeah, I’m plenty excited about the FOUR planned sequels that Cameron’s been hard at work on for many years now (by the time all is said and done, he may well have spent more of his life working on Avatar films than not, considering he wrote the initial 80-page treatment in 1994). If you’re like me and more than ready to return to the sublime and terrifying land of Pandora, only more fully realized with even more advanced tech, then follow along below to stay up to date on all the latest Avatar sequels news.

We’ll be keeping this good and updated for the entirety of the run, all the way through Avatar 5 on December 19, 2025.

The Latest

– The most recent big jaw dropper is that Stephen Lang’s gung-ho Colonel Miles Quaritch is not only alive (at least in some form), but he’s also very much the Big Bad in all four sequels. By our keen-eyed commenter Caleb Hale’s math, that will make Lang 73 years old when the last Avatar sequel drops.

– We also learned that Matt Gerald (Daredevil) is set to reprise his role of Corporal Lyle Wainfleet, one of Quaritch’s loyal soldiers, who also seemingly found himself dead in the last film. So perhaps using the avatar tech, the RDA Corporation has figured out a way to bring folks back from the dead, or at least the very sleepy.

Story

We don’t know much, but we have gotten hints …

– From Cameron: “The storyline in the sequels really follows Jake and Neytiri and their children. It’s more of a family saga about the struggle with the humans.”

– From producer Jon Landau: “At the heart of any movie are the characters. One of the strengths of great scripts are always the universal and relatable themes … There’s no more relatable theme than family. At the center of each of our four movies will be the Sully family. Each sequel will play as a stand-alone movie. Each movie’s story will come to its own conclusion … However, when looked at as a whole, the journey across all four movies will create an even larger connected epic saga for audiences around the world.”

– Cameron also mentions that the sequels will explore “whole new worlds, habitats and cultures.”

– That includes a deep dive into the world’s oceans, literally. Cameron has commissioned a submarine capable of filming in 3D some 36,000 feet below the surface!

– From Landau: “We always knew that Pandora was a place as diverse as Earth.”

– From Sigourney Weaver: “In my opinion, the three scripts I’ve read so far are many times more amazing than the first one in terms of their scope. He did a lot of the heavy lifting in the first movie, establishing the family and the relationships and the world, and now he really gets to play.”

– Also notable, as opposed to working alone (or at least being credited alone), as he did on Avatar, Cameron has a team of screenwriters plugging away on the sequels, which includes Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Shane Salerno (Armageddon), and Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes). “I think we met for seven months and we whiteboarded out every scene in every film together,” said Cameron, “and I didn’t assign each writer which film they were going to work on until the last day. I knew if I assigned them their scripts ahead of time, they’d tune out every time we were talking about the other movie.”

Technology

– While IMAX appears to be shifting away from 3D, that’s not in line with Cameron’s remarks while receiving an honorary membership to the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers last year: “I’m going to push. Not only for better tools, workflow, high dynamic range and high frame rates — the things we are working toward. I’m still very bullish on 3D, but we need brighter projection, and ultimately I think it can happen — with no glasses. We’ll get there.”

– Cameron was rumored to be considering 60 frames per second, but has settled on 48: “My thinking at the time was that 60 [FPS] might be a better segue to the video market,” he says. “I’ll be plugging into a system that’s a little more mature, so it makes sense for me to do 48 frames at this point.”

– Oh yeah, that submarine we mentioned above, Cameron wants to take it to film the Challenger Deep, the deepest spot on earth.

The Eagles Add More Shows With Vince Gill

After wrapping up their Classic East and Classic West festival shows, the Eagles have announced that they will (briefly) hit the road again this fall. Both Vince Gill and Deacon Frey, son of the late Glenn Frey, will again play with the band at each of the four upcoming shows.

The Eagles’ newest tour dates will take place in late October — from Oct. 17 through Oct. 27 — in Greensboro, N.C.; Atlanta, Ga.; Louisville, Ky.; and Detroit, Mich. Short stints on the road, like this one, will likely become the norm for the Eagles, the group’s guitarist, Joe Walsh, tells Rolling Stone.

“We’ve got some new blood. We all know the songs pretty good, but we just have to run the drill,” Walsh explains about the first string of shows since Glenn Frey died in 2016. “It’s like being an athlete and doing the reps to get into shape. The new guys [Deacon Frey and Gill] have to get to the point where it’s automatic or it’s transparent.”

According to the Eagles’ manager, Irving Azoff, the idea of adding Gill to the band’s lineup came about during December’s Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, during which Gill helped pay tribute to the Eagles.

“In my mind, I always thought I’d have made a good Eagle,” says Gill. “But in a million years, I never would have seen this coming. It’s pretty surreal. I turned 60 recently, and to get to be a part of this amazing legacy of songs, that’s the greatest part of all this for me.”

Following Frey’s death due to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia, Henley insisted that there was no chance the band would reunite but later hinted that Deacon Frey would be the only suitable stand-in for his father.